The number of people Tianming had brought surpassed the number of Archaion Sect disciples. The large group exchanged greetings.
"Big Sister! Beigong Mengmeng ran and hugged Beigong Qianyu. Although they were from different sects, they were cousins with the same surname; Beigong Mengmeng had spent most of her years in the Triflair Celestial Sect.
"Mengmeng, why are you with Tianming? Where's your hell tree? Why aren’t you guarding it?” Beigong Qianyu asked.
The Archaion Sect disciples had some misgivings. Beigong Mengmeng quickly recounted what had happened in the upper layers of the Nether Battlefield. The details she added made it seem as if she had personally witnessed Tianming slaughtering the Biritual and Heptastar disciples.
"Big Sister, it’s all thanks to your goddess’ disciple. He’s great. If it weren't for him, we would’ve been killed by Long Xiaofan. That guy’s determined. Now that Quadform has submitted to Nonahall, they’re using their connections to intimidate us. Their deaths were well-deserved!” Beigong Mengmeng droned on and on.
After she was done speaking, Xuanyuan Yucheng and the others looked confused.
"Are there only thirty or so left of the four sects’ disciples? So most of the Hexapath Sword Sect and Quadform Oceanic Sect are dead?” Fang Yuewei sounded dazed.
They had to believe it. If it weren't true, the disciples of the Triflair Celestial Sect and Pentaphase Earth Sect wouldn’t have been convinced by Tianming.
Fang Yuewei turned around, only to catch Fang Chenjing biting his lip. In truth, he felt ashamed. The Archaion Sect disciples, whose original options were reduced to one: waiting around for death, were suddenly filled with excitement. They stared at Tianming with fiery gazes.
"As expected of the goddess’ disciple!”
"Li Tianming, I’ve never admired anyone, but I do admire you!”
"You’ve made a great contribution by slaughtering the Hexapath Sword Sect, and now you’ve inflicted heavy losses on three other sects.”
At the moment, all they felt was amazement. However, Tianming didn't need marvel; what he wanted was to prepare for battle. He had worked so hard to create an opportunity just so they had the right to confront the five divine realms.
"Please quiet down. Li Tianming created a chance for us to live, but we’re short on time. Our opponents from the five divine realms will soon be down. Before this, all we could do was wait for death, but now we have a chance to fight. This is our only opportunity.” Xuanyuan Yucheng shouted, his eyes red.
Their hearts burned with passion.
"Let’s fight to the death!”
"We now have our friends from Triflair and Pentaphase. Our enemies only have about a hundred or so on their side.”
“If they want to kill us, we have to return the favor. We must take out as many as we can.”
Tianming had reversed the situation. The disciples got together and discussed their battle preparations.
"By the way, where’s Octagram?” Xuanyuan Yucheng.
"They’re in the first layer, the metalstar layer. Prior to this, the Nonahall Ghost Sect disciples were looking for their hell tree. I don’t think their hell tree has been exposed, but I heard that many of their disciples have been killed. Time is running out, so I didn't go up to look for them,” said Tianming.
They exchanged a meaningful look. Dongfang Zichong, Zhao Tianxing, and the others seemed to have a certain idea.
"The swamp layer is very suitable for the Nonahall Ghost Sect disciples. If we were to fight here and guard the hell tree, it’d be easy for our enemies to attack and difficult for us to defend ourselves. Additionally, they have many talented disciples. We’re likely to suffer heavy casualties,” said Xuanyuan Yucheng.
"That's right. Since we have the numbers and have decided to fight an uphill battle, it doesn't matter whether or not your hell barrier formation is exposed. We should abandon the place and find a suitable battlefield,” said Zhao Tianxing.
"In that case, let’s get the Octagram Heart Sect to join us. Tianming is able to quickly find their hell tree, isn’t he?” Dongfang Zichong looked at him.
"So they come down here to find us, but we head up the other way. And all of us venture into the metalstar layer to meet the Octagram disciples?” Tianming asked.
"That’s right. At present, our hell tree hasn’t been destroyed yet. We might come across our opponent in the middle of our journey, but we can see them and they can't see us. We can use this period of time to look for our friends from Octagram and prepare for battle at the same time. We don’t have much time, so we have to act now,” said Xuanyuan Yucheng.
With the expansion of their team came ideas. They certainly knew more about the other sects than Tianming did. They were right; giving up the Archaion Sect’s hell tree wasn’t an issue.
"Let’s set out now.”
More than ninety people left the hell tree and headed up.
"Attention everyone. Don’t make a sound. If our opponents realize our plan, it’ll be hard for us to defeat them in an unfortunate encounter. This isn’t a fight between disciples, it’s a battle of life and death. One wrong step will lead to death!” Xuanyuan Yucheng said solemnly.
As Tianming followed the crowd, he glanced back at the hell tree below.
"They don't know that we’ve left. But when they get here, they’ll destroy the hell tree and our hell barrier formations will glow. The decisive battle will commence the moment they find us.”
In truth, if it weren't for him, this group of people wouldn’t have the qualifications to fight a decisive battle with the disciples of the five divine realms. Out of the Nine Divine Realms, if the forces of the Nonahall Ghost Sect were considered the first echelon, then the second echelon consisted of three sects—Monorigin, Biritual, and Hexapath. The rest were basically part of the third echelon.
Among those in the third echelon, Heptastar was the strongest. The Triflair, Quadform, Pentaphase and Octagram Sects were rather weak. Pentaphase, in particular, was shaped like a long strip that lay right in the middle of Nonahall territory. The Octagram Heart Sect also shared borders with Nonahall.
"The Octagram Heart Sect is located on the Octagram Mountain, which is rich in spiritual energy. Apparently, Nonahall has coveted the mountain for quite some time. Like Pentaphase, they’re attractive and easy marks in the eyes of the Nonahall Ghost Sect," Xuanyuan Yucheng whispered to Tianming.
"Do you mean they’re all trustworthy?” asked Tianming.
"That’s right. The house king would also like to see what the real situation is like. Right now, it seems his conjectures were correct. Although these three sects haven’t expressed their full support of us, at least there’s still room for negotiation. This time, the other five divine realms have ruthlessly oppressed them. If we can unite them in the Nether Battlefield and win, even if our casualties are heavy, and as long as the friendship exists, as long as our enemies pay the price, this can be an opening for our elders to get in touch with each other,” said Xuanyuan Yucheng.
"You’ve done great. Tianming, I truly admire you. You mustn’t die. If this battle requires a sacrifice, then let me be the one. I’ll do anything if it means the sect survives,” said Xuanyuan Yucheng.
"Stop talking nonsense. You won't die.” Tianming chided.
He had always been under the impression that the chaos between the Nine Divine Realms was caused by Feiling. But looking at it now, it seemed the situation wasn’t that simple.
"The great forces of the world, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide. Now that we’ve been divided for a hundred thousand years, many can no longer bear it, especially the powerful Nonahall Ghost Sect. Throughout the recent years, they’ve been annexing the bordering divine realms. Even if Her Eminence didn’t exist, sooner or later, chaos would ensue,” said Xuanyuan Yucheng.
They chatted as they quickly traveled upward. Just as they entered the fourth layer, Tianming and the others noticed hell barrier formations glowing in the distance.
About thirty people were heading down.
The Nonahall Ghost Sect’s hell tree was still standing. Near the thirty glowing barrier formations were about eighty more disciples. They were fast and continuously looked for the passage leading down.
On Tianming's side, everyone held their breath.
An abrupt meeting like this had their hearts beating in their throats. Once the disciples of the five divine realms left, they were on the move again.
"Hurry up. Once they reach the swamp layer and destroy our hell tree, they’ll head up and start searching.”
The near-miss of the two teams was watched through the Flameyellow continent’s Skyeye Formation. None of them had ever imagined that the chaotic Nether Battle would develop into a decisive battle between two groups.
This was a microcosm of the current situation in the Flameyellow continent, and it was thought-provoking indeed. Thus, the upcoming battle would certainly affect the hearts of the Nine Divine Realms.
In front of the Skyeye Formation, countless people awaited with bated breath.
In order to save time, Tianming didn’t bother venturing into the second layer to destroy the Nonahall Ghost Sect’s hell tree. After all, it would be meaningless.
The metalstar layer was completely enveloped in a golden luster. There were gold mountains, and rivers made of molten gold. Except for the hell tree, everything here was gold. The glare from the gold blocked his vision. Some of the mountains were extremely sharp and shaped like sharp cones. If a large beast fell on them, it would be covered in bloody wounds.
In order to locate the Octagram Heart Sect disciples as soon as possible, they shouted for them at the top of their lungs. Once again, Tianming used Xian Xian to look for them. Obviously, the Octagram disciples had concealed themselves well. They wouldn’t appear that easily in order to avoid traps.
Half an hour later, Xian Xian finally located the hell tree. In front of them was a mountain range, and the hell tree was located within one of the huge, gold mountains. There were two entrances into the heart of the mountains; however, they were rather small, so some of the larger lifebound beasts might need to squeeze in.
But upon entering the cave, they realized it was enormous inside. The hell tree was located in the depths of this hollow mountain.
"Friends from the Octagram Heart Sect, I am Xuanyuan Yucheng. Dongfang Zichong and Zhao Tianxing are both here as well. Our three sects have already united. In order to survive, we’ve come to hold a meeting with you,” said Xuanyuan Yucheng.
Dongfang Zichong and Zhao Tianxing both spoke up after him.
"Please come down,” a cold voice sounded.
They all descended together.
There was a tree deep in the heart of the mountain, which was very well-concealed indeed. About twenty Octagram Heart Sect disciples surrounded it, gathered in groups of two or three, their faces solemn and their eyes grim.Previous Chapter Next Chapter